About Me and Running:
I still remember the first time I ever had to run a mile. It was in fifth grade gym class. Not only do I remember running it, but I also remember my time. 16:06. Sixteen minutes and six seconds. Nearly 30 years later, I still remember that it took me more than sixteen minutes to run a mile. Needless to say, I was not an athlete. At a school that valued sports more than anything else, I was decidedly out of place, and this began a very long and difficult relationship with athletics for me.
Even as I became an adult and grew more interested in fitness, running always eluded me. I didn't have the cardiovascular skill, the stamina, or frankly the attention span to run for more than about a mile at a time. But I always enjoy a challenge, and after being gently prodded by friends into some gentle 5Ks, I realized I was starting to figure this running thing out. I wanted to do more, and at 38 years old I wanted to see what my body could really do. So in February of this year I began training for my first ever half marathon. Prior to starting this program I had never run more than 6 miles in one go, and I had done that exactly once. I pretty much never went over 3. Now I'm staring down 13.1. And I'm asking for your encouragement to do it.
About Shakespeare Corrected:
Shakespeare Corrected is a performing arts and outreach program offered by Millikin’s School of Theatre and Dance in partnership with the Decatur Correctional Center. During the 9-month process, students independently run multiple aspects of the program while in prolonged and direct collaboration with those incarcerated. A fully mounted public performance of Shakespeare’s work allows loved ones to view their mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives through a positive lens.
While participating in Shakespeare Corrected, Millikin students are exposed to diverse worlds outside their typical sphere – shattering stereotypes and preconceived notions that may have unknowingly been held as truth. Shakespeare Corrected is a transformative program that enhances student awareness, understanding, and competence in dealing with diversity, and is an idyllic example of Millikin’s core values.
Every year I have the opportunity to attend the Shakespeare Corrected performance, and every year I am moved by what I see. My colleague Alex Miller oversees the project, and my former student Dana Anderson serves as the director for the production. They work alongside many of my current students to deliver on the promise of education for everyone. When the idea arose to attempt to use my own personal challenge to raise money for a worthy cause, there was only ever one organization I wanted to support.
It costs Shakespeare Corrected only $135.00 for an offender to participate for one full year.
It costs the State of Illinois $31,000.00 to incarcerate an offender for one full year.
The recidivism rate for offenders who have participated in Shakespeare Corrected is only 4.75%.
Shakespeare Corrected changes lives.
For more information, please visit http://shakespearecorrected.weebly.com.
What I'm Asking For:
A half marathon is 13.1 miles, so I am asking for your donation to sponsor me on a per mile basis. Some suggestions:
$1/mile -- $13.00
$2/mile -- $26.00
$5/mile -- $65.00
$10/mile -- $130.00
$20/mile -- $260.00
I've set a campaign target of $1,000.00. At that rate (and when you remove GoFundMe's processing fee) we would fund seven additional women to participate in this life-changing program.
Plus I'm Giving You One More Incentive:
If we hit the target goal of $1,000.00 AND receive at least 40 donations, IMMEDIATELY on completing the race I will personally perform a piece of Shakespearean verse selected for me by Alex Miller himself, and it will be posted to appropriate social media feeds. I will be exhausted, sweaty, very hungry, in a great deal of pain, and attempting to read Shakespeare. If that's not worth a few dollars of a donation, I don't know what is.
- Alex’s Kick Ass Sister
- Michelle Tyrene Johnson
- Reneé Rodriguez
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